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Jakarta Post

New discharge criteria: What you need to know

  • Ardila Syakriah


Jakarta   /   Thu, August 13 2020   /  01:00 am
Medical workers check equipment in the Kemayoran Athletes Village COVID-19 hospital in Central Jakarta on March 23. (Antara/Pool/Hafidz Mubarak A)(Antara/Pool/Hafidz Mubarak A)

Asymptomatic COVID-19 patients and those with mild to moderate symptoms no longer need to take a follow-up polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test in order to be discharged from quarantine. A previous protocol had required that patients test negative twice consecutively before being discharged from isolation. The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is an RNA virus and its genetic material can be detected by a real-time PCR -- widely known as the gold standard test. But as the country deals with the persistent problem of limited testing capacity, patients often have to wait for days and even weeks for their results to come back – meaning they occupy hospital beds or self-isolate for a long period despite no longer showing symptoms. This raises not only concerns about prolonged hospital stays, which could lead to hospital overcrowding, but also tests being used up on old rather th...